Naturally, that is.
Research indicates that the average person feels down about 4 days each month. If you have an unusual amount of change going on in your life, aren’t getting enough sleep, or have too much on your plate, it may be even more.
Stress seems to be waiting around every corner these days. Each month, Americans increasingly feel overworked on the job, bombarded by social media and news, and buried by too many responsibilities. It is exhausting just thinking about it and the “to do” list just keeps growing.
On days when it feels like life is caving in around me, one of the easiest (side-effect and calorie-free!) mental jolts I have found is doing something nice for someone else. It may sound counterintuitive to add a task to the list when already feeling overwhelmed, but it forces me to: 1) pause, 2) step out of my pity party, and 3) realize things aren’t nearly as bad as they may feel in the moment.
This in and of itself can break the downward spiral.
But, the best part is that spreading joy goes a long way for both the recipient’s state of mind as well as my own, while costing little to nothing and taking just a moment.
After all, what is more satisfying than seeing someone you care about smile? Here are some ideas:
– Write a brief text or e-mail out of the blue letting someone know you are thinking of them
– Check in with someone who has been in a difficult situation recently to see if you can help
– Mail a funny greeting card to someone you don’t see very often for no reason
– Leave a thank you note or a chocolate on a co-worker’s desk
– Bring in cookies, fruit or bagels to your weekly staff meeting
– Buy a pint of your partner’s (or child’s) favorite ice cream on the way home from work
– Do a chore or task for someone at home or work in advance so that they don’t need to
This works with strangers, too. Try letting someone with fewer groceries ahead of you in the checkout line. Put an extra quarter in an expired meter as you pass by. Donate to Good Will. Stop to tell the restaurant manager how good your Server was. Give blood (one donation can save 3 lives!).
So get out and get a mental buzz. You’ll not only feel better naturally, but you’ll make the world a better place. I like that “to-do”.
Want more ideas on how to spread the love? Check out this website: www.150waystospreadjoy.com/.
Also, be sure to share your favorite ideas in the comments section.